Pro-Israel Legislation Targets Open Debate



Martin Kramer, a political science professor at the University of Tel Aviv,
and Daniel Pipes, the director of the Middle East Forum and a notorious
Islamophobe, are two hard-core Zionists unhappy with the way politics of
the Middle East are taught at U.S. universities.

They accuse many American Middle Eastern scholars of being anti-Israel. To
stem that, they set up an organization called Campus Watch to expose the
professors, students and academic programs in American universities they
regard as anti-Israel. Individuals who do not meet their expectations were
placed on the Campus Watch's "apologists for terror" list.

The list is made up of more than 200 American scholars of the Middle East
and Islam who opposed Pipes' attempts at academic censorship. American
scholars of all faiths flocked to be included on the list.

Two years ago I asked Campus Watch to honor me by including me in the list
of smeared American academics. The list has recently been removed from the
organization's Web site as an increasing number of scholars asked to be
included in it.

Pipes was nominated by the neoconservatives for a position at the U.S.
Institute of Peace. The anger displayed by civil rights groups at his
statements and beliefs, as well as his nomination, led some members of the
Senate Committee on Health, Education Labor and Pensions to oppose him.
President Bush circumvented the committee and made a recess appointment of
Pipes.

Currently, Pipes is the instigator of an important bill making its way
through Congress. If approved, free speech and debate on the Middle East in
America will end. Introduced by Rep. Peter Hoekstra, R-Mich., the
International Studies in Higher Education Act is supported by the American
Jewish Committee, the American Jewish Congress, the Anti-Defamation League,
Kramer and Pipes.

Stanley Kurtz, a research fellow at the Hoover Institute and another
associate of Pipes and Kramer, was the primary witness at the hearings.
Basing his arguments on Kramer's latest book, Kurtz suggested that Middle
East studies and other such areas tended to be anti-American and anti-Israel.

Proponents of the bill advised that such Title VI programs (which ensure
that public funds are not used to promote racial discrimination) at all
federally funded institutions be tightly monitored and controlled. Indeed,
they proposed the creation of a seven-member committee made up of two
Senate appointees and two House appointees, with two of the remaining
three, chosen by the secretary of education, coming from federal security
agencies.

The committee would have wide power and control over curriculum and subject
matter, as well as faculty hiring..

 


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